The only news worth mentioning is that the great blackout of 2009 is over. KBS, Xsports and MBC started broadcasting again on Saturday. Huzzah. Morons.
Doosan vs. Hanwha
4/24 - PPD
4/25 - PPD
4/26 - Doosan 6, Hanwha 2
After rain washed out the first two games, Doosan knocked Hanwha starter Yoo Won-sang out of the game after only the 2nd inning. Doosan starter Kim Sun-woo was able to settle down after a rocky begninning and earn the W. Kim worked 5 innings(98 pitches, 51 strikes) of 2-run baseball. He was lucky to escape with only 2 runs allowed. Kim allowed 6 hits, 5 walks and 1 hit batsman. Somehow, he managed to strike out 1 batter. Kim was given an early 3-2 lead and did his best to get out of jams. Doosan extended its lead in the 6th inning. Doosan 2nd baseman Goh Yeong-min clubbed a 3-run homer to give Doosan a 6-2 lead. Doosan 1st baseman Choi Joon-seok didn't homer, but he did drive in a pair of runs in this game. Doosan's bullpen was excellent on Sunday. 3 pitchers combined to lock down the final 4 innings. Of the 12 batters retired 7 went down via the strikeout. Yim Tae-hoon struck out 5 during 2 innings of work.
SK vs. Seoul Heroes
4/24 - PPD
4/25 - SK 7, Heroes 1
4/26 - SK 4, Heroes 3
Kim Kwang-hyeon was able to keep the Heroes off of the scoreboard for the most part, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Kim threw 6 innings(102 pitches, 56 strikes) of 1-run baseball and struck out 5. That's the good news. The bad news is that he allowed 6 hits and 5 walks. The Heroes kept this one close until the 6th inning. SK DH Lee Ho-joon hit a solo homer to give SK a 2-1 lead. The next batter, SK 3rd baseman Choi Jeong, hit another solo homer and chased Heroes starter Lee Hyeon-seung from the game. With 2 outs and the bases empty, SK mounted a 3-run rally to put the game out of reach.
Heroes ace Ma Il-yeong was knocked around again on Sunday. This time he surrendered 4 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk during his 4 1/3 innings of work. SK starter Song Eun-beom worked 6 solid innings(73 pitches, 46 strikes). The only run he allowed came on a Jang Yeong-seok solo homer in the 3rd inning. Losing 4-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Cliff Brumbaugh hit a 2-run bomb to make the score look respectable in the newspapers.
Samsung vs. KIA
4/24 - Samsung 6, KIA 5
4/25 - KIA 2, Samsung 1
4/26 - KIA 10, Samsung 2
Friday was the battle of the Yoons. KIA ace Yoon Seok-min rumbled to the bump for KIA, while Yoon Seong-hwan took the ball for Samsung. Neither were all that impressive and neither figured in the decision. Yoon Seok-min worked 6 innings(114 pitches, 75 strikes). He allowed 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. He recorded 5 K's. Yoon Seong-hwan lasted 6 1/3 innings(108 pitches, 75 strikes). He allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, but only struck out 3. Samsung was losing 5-4 in the 8th inning when catcher Jin Kab-yong connected for a 2-run homer that gave Samsung a 6-5 lead. Samsung closer Oh Seung-hwan tossed a 1-2-3 9th inning with 2 K's. He recorded his league leading 6th save.
Saturday was all about KIA's pitching. Samsung had exactly 2 hits, but managed to draw 9 walks. KIA starter Yang Hyeon-jong left the game after the 7th inning with a 1-hitter. Yang struck out 3 and walked 6 during his start. KIA 3rd baseman drew first blood with a sac fly in the 1st inning. That would be KIA's only run until the 9th inning. Samsung tied the game in the 8th inning on a passed ball. Samsung infielder Shin Myeong-cheol ran sprinted home from 3rd when the ball got past KIA catcher Kim Sang-hoon. KIA broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the 9th. KIA shortstop Lee Hyeon-gon hit a groundball through the left side to score Ahn Chi-hong from 3rd and give us our 2-1 final.
On Sunday, KIA absolutely pounded Samsung starter Ahn Ji-man. I've been a big supporter of Ahn's in the past, but even I wouldn't accept a high-five from him after Sunday's effort. He was thumped for 6 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks during his 3 crummy innings. KIA's Na Ji-hwan hit a solo homer in the 1st inning. Na finished the game 2-5 with 2 walks, 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored. After Ahn walked the bases loaded in the 3rd inning, Kim Sang-hyeon hit a grand slam to give KIA a 6-0 lead. On the other side of the field Rick Guttormson pitched well. Rick tossed 7 strong innings(109 pitches, 63 strikes) of 1-run baseball. 6 hits and 2 walks with 6 K's. The only run he allowed came on a Park Jin-man solo homer in the 4th inning. Guttormson is looking MUCH more confident these days than he did during the first week. A few nice starts will do that for you.
Lotte vs. LG
4/24 - LG 7, Lotte 6 (8)
4/25 - LG 10, Lotte 9
4/26 - Lotte 5, LG 3
Everything about Friday's game was ugly. The weather was awful, pitching was awful and there was more than one instance of awful fielding. This was your typical KBO 10 pitcher meatgrinder. Roberto Petagine did hit his 6th homer in this soggy affair, but not much else is really worth writing about. After both starters were chased from the game early, the bullpens took turns giving up runs until the umpires told everyone to go home. LG didn't really win this game, they just happened to have the most runs when the dust settled. Lee Dae-ho finished the game 2-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI's. Also, somehow Karim Garcia hit a triple. He probably needed more than a few oxygen canisters by the time he bellyflopped into 3rd.
After clobbering Lotte pitching in the early innings, LG's bullpen tried really hard to give the lead back. With a 10-4 lead in the 8th, LG allowed Lotte to mount a 4-run rally in the 8th inning. Kim Min-sang hit a 2 RBI single to make the score 10-6. The next batter, center fielder Lee In-gu hit an RBI infield single to get Lotte even closer. Kim Joo-chan hit a chopper up the middle that was fielded cleanly, but Roberto Petagine couldn't find the handle on the throw. Another run scored on the error to make the game 10-8. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, Lotte's Park Nam-seob grounded out to short to score a run and record the 2nd out. With the tying run on 3rd base, Kim Min-sang hit a towering pop up to left to end the game. LG left fielder Park Yong-taek put together a solid day at the plate. Park finished 3-6 with a homer, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. LG DH Choi Dong-soo helped LG's cause with 3 RBIs.
On Sunday Lotter starting pitcher Jang Won-joon actually gave the Giants a quality start. It's amazing what happens when your starting pitcher makes it out of the 4th inning. Jang threw 7 innings(107 pitches, 69 strikes). He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks. He managed to strikeout 3. LG Ace Bong Jung-geun pitched well enough to win, but didn't get much help. Bong threw 6 innings(108 pitches, 64 strikes). He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks with 4 K's. With Lotte leading 3-2 in the 7th inning, Lee Dae-ho hit a 2-run bomb to extende Lotte's advantage to 5-2. Lotte would need the insurance. Jon Adkins surrendered his first KBO run in the 9th inning. He was able to get the save, but there was a little more excitement than we've gotten used to with Big Jon.
I feel awful. Time to build a small fort out of blankets and pillows and camp out until my alarm goes off tomorrow morning.